Bulk grains and BUGS!

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by dragonfly, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Locally, a friend of mine that lives way out on the west side, had bought some bulk grains and had them stored in a spare bedroom. He went in and found there were black bugs all over the floor. He sprayed and thought that was the end of the problem. It wasn't. Instead it got worse. It got much worse...In the end, he had to toss all of his bulk grain and had an exterminator come in and zap the critters...Before they spread any further into the rest of the house, than they already had...I figured they were "imported" in with the bags of grain?...Not sure as I was not there and didn't get to see the actual problem/s....Now IF he had put the bulk into plastic buckets and sealed or used the oxygen absorbers, or vacuum packed the grains, would that have stopped the problem..?
    I am still not sure what they were....some form of a black beetle, less than 1/2 inch long...ANYONE got anything on this? Ever had this problem?If so, what the heck are they, and where did they come from?
    Then, the most important question is: Can any of the grain be salvaged, screened, or is it a total loss? How can the BUGS be identified and removed?
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Depends on the BUGS... 1/2 In Bugs could be screened thru a sieve of the appropriate size, but then the question is after you do that what do you have left, and are there more larvae still in the Grain? After the fact, there is just no way to tell, for sure.... Best to pack in CO2, or Nitrogen Purge, and the Seal up in Gas tight Containers. That way Larvae can not hatch, and just die. Extra Protein..... YMMV....
    Gunny Highway likes this.
  3. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    take a picture of the bugs or catch a couple in a small glass jar
    take it to the county extension office, they shoud be able to identify it
    then all you gotta do is find out what stops it and the CEO should have that info
    stevel, Capt. Tyree and Gunny Highway like this.
  4. Gunny Highway

    Gunny Highway Hard Work and Sacrifice blessed by God's Grace

    Beast is right - ask the CEO - you might as well...its your tax dollars at work ;)
  5. Gunny Highway

    Gunny Highway Hard Work and Sacrifice blessed by God's Grace

    ZERO OXYGEN = kills bugs dead
  6. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Too late now...he dumped the whole mess and it's long gone now....I need to find out what he encountered, somehow....hate to buy bulkand have it go bad beforei got it properly sealed up. Now as for weevils and such, no problem...I have sifted them out of flour, and macaroni, and dumped the critters and then ate the remainder.They may be extra protein, but I don't need it right now, so they'll have to go!
  7. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    ummm, some bugs can lie dormant in zero oxygen and live for a very long time
    and ive heard of others than can still function normally in zero oxygen
    and many bacterium love zero oxygen and prefer breathing nitrogen
    they turn it into oxygen and methane
  8. munchy

    munchy Monkey+++

    More than likely the beetles came in the grain, you have to identify the type of bug to know what will kill them. Sometimes you can freeze the grains for 24 -48 hours, as most of the grain beetles are from temperate climates, such as the sawtooth grain beetle. Storing the products in sealed buckets would have prevented cross contamination though, provided they were all not from the same distribution site. I worked in the pest control industry for a short time and dealt with this a couple of times, I inspect everything and then store them in airtight glass or plastic containers now.
  9. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    if you have freezzer space freeze any bulk grain for 4 days then vacume seal with/pack that should help with the issue... bugs are probably Confused Flour Beetle , Red Flour Beetle or the Sawtoothed Grain Beetle ...

    Sanitation is the best method of control and prevention at present. Removal of all cereal refuse does away with possible breeding places for the insects. Therefore, controlling insect pests in stored cereal products should include the following steps:
    • Discard all infested foodstuffs and place all newly purchased flour, sugar, breakfast food and similar products in canister-type containers.
    • Thoroughly clean the cupboard and storage bins of all refuse material. Be sure to clean out the cracks along the shelves and top of the cupboard. Scrub out these areas with soap and water, adding a little household disinfectant.
    • Purchase foods in quantities small enough so they may be used up rapidly.
    • Keep all food storage space clean at all times.
    • Spray the shelves or other infested areas lightly, particularly cracks where shelves and cupboards come together. Suggested insecticides include resmethrin, sumithrin, tetramethrin, permethrin and pyrethins.
      Caution: All foodstuffs and cooking utensils should be removed before spraying. All sprayed surfaces should be allowed to dry thoroughly before packaged foods or utensils are placed back. Small children should not be allowed to come in contact with the insecticide until the sprayed surface has dried completely.
    • When spray dries, cover shelves with clean, fresh paper before replacing packaged food and utensils.
    Nonchemical control: Either destroy the infested products, or salvage them by heating in an oven at 130 degrees Fahrenheit for one-half hour, or super-cooling by placing in a deep freeze at 0 F for four days.
    Gafarmboy, tulianr and Tracy like this.
  10. SurviveN

    SurviveN Monkey+

    sounds like a ground beetle to me. confused, red flour or sawtooth is a possiblity as well but those are not really black in color but are dark so could be confused for black. ground beetles are the hard shell pitch black bugs u see everywhere during the months of sept and oct. (there heavy season) hate them cause i get tons of calls with people saying they have cockroches everywhere and i go out and its just beetles. lol im a service tech at a pest company if u havent guessed.
  11. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Am fortunate to have an Argon tank. Bought an extra regulator and tube so I can more easily O2 purge the containers. Bugs/etc. do not like inert gasses and the dryness stops fungus/etc. also. If you are nearby just holler and will bring my tank over to "shoot" your containers. Have a rigid extension about three feet long to add to the flex tube. That way the gas fills from the bottom.
    BTPost likes this.
  12. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Didn't see it mentioned above as a solution, but there is food grade diatomaceous earth which helps with bugs that wanna steal your grain.
  13. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Repack the grain in mylar bags inside 5 gallon airtight buckets, and drop in some hand warmers. Yes, hand warmers (they function identically to O2 Absorbers, cost far less, and are of significant size). It has worked perfectly for us.

    Another option (instead of hand warmers/O2 Absorbers) is a quarter sized chunk of dry ice dropped on top of the grain and allowed to sublimate down to about a nickle size - then seal the bucket. CO2 is heavier than oxygen and displaces the "breathable" air in the bag, seal and close.

    Alternatively, if you have the time, you can make custom 1-3 pound packages of grains and vacuum seal them and store those in a bucket. The distinct advantage to this method is water resistance and reduced waste when you go to use the grain. Additionally, you can "flat pack" the grain (make the packages flat when they are sealed), allowing you to stack the grain packs in boxes, tubs etc. instead of needing 5 gallon buckets.

    We do he flat pack method with our rice. It works great and creates more backpack (BoB or camping) friendly packaging. As with anything YMMV.

    VHestin is right, the food grade diatomaceous earth does stop bugs. However it does nothing for rancidity (oxygen removal). Oxygen removal extends the shelf life of the grain significantly, most especially for whole grains.
    Gafarmboy and beast like this.
  14. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    I discovered a similar problem with my mother in law's grain. She had left it in a shed out back, HUNDREDS of pounds of grain in 25 lb sacks. All of it was ruined, the bugs were everywhere, very small and wormlike though. It was definitely not salvageable, and risky to keep around.

    Most of the time the bugs come with the grain, I've opened a fresh sack of garbanzo beans and had a swarm of flying insects attack my face.

    I suggest #10 cans. Find a local Mormon Bishops Storehouse, non church members can buy stuff there. Call and ask, they have #10 cans and you can use the caner. You add in the oxygen absorbers and seal it. It goes fast with 3 or 4 people, and is a good long term solution. The downside is that it is metal, so if left in bad situations it could potentially rust. It's fairly inexpensive, they also transport easily, 6 per box and weigh in around 30-40 lbs.

    I've seen the buckets with the mylar bag inside with a gamma lid or regular lid. I've never tried it so I can't comment, but those are the two best ways to store grain in my opinion.
  15. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Freeze before packing and then packing in air tight mylar with 02 absorbers or something comparable are the best ways to get rid of bugs. Or if you can't freeze at least packing in mylar and 02 is best.

    Buying higher quality, and much more expensive rices may help too. We buy high end Japanese rice and have never had bugs. We use it for every day food too and even when sitting in a plain plastic tub opened every day we have never had bugs appear. It costs about $25 - $35 for a 20 lb bag but is good stuff.
  16. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    We have had bugs get into grain (mostly rice) before. Most of them float and can be skimmed off, the rest just add flavor. [dunno] The sinsitivity of some people makes me wounder how many people would survive a total melt down.

  17. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    A little 'extra protein' doesn't bother me.


    But then, I have eaten some things that make a few bugs in rice seem very tame.......
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